• January 28th, 2016


Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Cross: “How Not to be Bamboozled”

  1. According to Cross, what is propaganda? Who uses propaganda? Why is it used? (Glossary: Propaganda)


  1. Why does Cross believe that it is necessary for people in a democratic society to become informed about the methods and practices of propaganda? What is her adivce for dealing with propaganda?


  1. What is a “red herring,” and why do people use this technique? What is “begging the question”? (Glossary: Logical Fallacy)


  1. What, according to Cross, is the most common propaganda trick? Provide some examples from your own experience.


  1. How does Cross use examples in her essay? (Glossary: Examples) What do you think of the examples from Senator Yakalot? What, if anything, does this hypothetical senator add to the essay? Which other examples do you find most effective? Least effective? Why?


  1. In her discussion of the bandwagon appeal (23-28), Cross uses the analogy of the lemmings. How does the analogy work? Why is it not a false analogy? (Glossary: Analogy) How do analogies help you, as a writer, explain your subject to readers?

    Lutz: “The World of Doublespeak” pp. 248-258


  1. What, according to Lutz, is doublespeak? What are its essential characteristics?


  1. What is a euphemism? Are all euphemisms examples of doublespeak? Explain.


  1. In his discussion of Oliver North’s testimony during the Iron-Contra hearing, Lutz states, “While North accepts responsibility, he does not accept accountability.” (para. 37). Explain what Lutz means here. What differences do you draw between responsbility and accountabiliyt?


  1. Why, according to Lutz, does “doublespeak continue to spread as the official language of public discourse” (para. 1)? In your opinion, is doublespeak as wide-spread today as it was when Lutz wrote his article?  What examples can you provide to back up your opinion?


  1. Lutz discusses four basic types or categories of doublespeak–euphemism, jargon, gobbledygook, and inflated language. In what ways does this classification serve to clarify not only the concept of doublespeak but also its many uses? (Glossary:  Classification)


  1. Lutz is careful to illustrate each of the basic types of doublespeak with examples. Why is it important to use plenty of examples in an essay like this?  (Glossary:  Examples)  What do his many examples reveal about Lutz’s expertise on the subject?


  1. Why does Lutz believe that we must recognize doublespeak for what it is and voice our dissatisfaction with those who use it?

    Birks: Selection, Slanting, and Charged Language

    1. What is the purpose of this essay? (Glossary: Purpose) Are the writers more intent on explaining or on arguing their position? Note the specific language the authors that led you to this conclusion; document these examples with page numbers. (Glossary: Diction)


  1. How do the Birks organize their essay? (Glossary: Organization) Do you think the organizational pattern is appropriate given their subject matter and purpose? Explain.


  1. According to the Birks, how is slanting different from the principle of selection? What devices can a speaker or writer use to slant knowledge? When is it appropriate, if at all, to slant language?


  1. Do you find the examples about Toddy the dog and Corlyn particularly helpful? (Glossary: Examples) Why or why not? What would have been lost, if anything, had the examples not been included?


  1. Why is it important for writers and others to be aware of charged words? What can happen if you use charged language unknowingly? What are some of the difficulties in living in a world with charged language?


  1. The Birks wrote this essay in 1972, when people were not as sensitive to sexist language as they are today. (Glossary: Sexist Language) Reread their essay, paying particular attention to the Birks’ use of pronouns and to the gender of the people in their examples. Note specific examples and document with page numbers. Suggest ways in which the Birks’ diction could be changed so as to eliminate any sexist language.

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